Cotesia glomerata

Cotesia glomerata (L.)

(Formerly known as Apanteles glomeratus L.).

Systematic position: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera, Apocryta, Chalcidoidea, Braconidae.

Morphology: The adults are mostly black, 5–7 mm in length, with long, curved antennae and small hindwings. The larvae are yellow, apodous.

Life history: An endoparasitoid that attacks the young larvae of members of the family Pieridae, preferring Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae. A female lays numerous (15-60 or more) eggs in each host, which hatch and feed therein, developing in 2-3 weeks. The mature larvae emerge from the moribund host and spin cocoons, in which they pupate. The adults emerge after another week, feed on nectar and seek hosts. A generation can be completed in 3-5 weeks.

Economic importance: Cotesia glomerata is an important enemy of Pieris brassicae and of P. rapae and was introduced into North America for this purpose. Cotesia glomerata also transmits a lethal granulosis virus (termed PiraGV) to P. rapae. Intra-host competition (between parasitoid and virus) may then ensue, without any clear winner. PiraGV has become an important biological insecticide. Several hyperparasites attack Cotesia glomerata in North America but are not known in the Middle East.


Hochberg, M.E. 1991. Intra-host interactions between a braconid endoparasitoid, Apanteles glomeratus, and a baculovirus for larvae of Pieris brassicae. Journal of Animal Ecology 60: 51-63.

Kolaib, M.O., Attiah, M.B., Abd El-Naby, L.M. and EI-Madboh, W.F. 2009. On the parasitoid species of the cabbage worm, Artogeia (Pieris) rapae L. (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) at El-Minoufia Governorate, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 19: 63-66.

Laing, J.E. and Levin, D.B. 1982. A review of the biology and a bibliography of Apanteles glomeratus (L.) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Biocontrol News and Information 3: 7–23.

Levin, D.B., Laing, J.E., Jaques, R.P. and Corrigan, J.E. 1983. Transmission of the granulosis virus of Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) by the parasitoid Apanteles glomeratus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Environmental Entomology 12: 166-170.

McDonald, R.C. and Kok, L.T. 1991. Hyperparasites attacking Cotesia glomerata (L.) and Cotesia rubecula (Marshall) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in southwestern Virginia. Biological Control 1: 170-175.

Ullah, M.I., Arshad, M., Ali, S., Iftikhar, Y., Molina-Ochoa, J. and Foster, J.E. 2016. Host Utilization of the endoparasitoid, Cotesia glomerata L. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in different instars of Pieris brassicae L. (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 26: 625-629.

Zhang, B.-Q., Cheng, R.-L., Wang, X.-F. and Zhang, C.X. 2012. The genome of Pieris rapae granulovirus. Journal of Virology 86: 9544.